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All the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year winners

At the 10th edition of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards on Friday night, 4 November 2011, the Mondi Shanduka award-winning Sunday Times team of Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika took top honours as national winners for their controversial story 'Bheki Cele's R500m police rental deal', and Rapport's Herman Scholtz and freelancer Herman Manson, who is a regular contributor to and columnist for Bizcommunity.com, scooped the new categories Consumer Journalism and Social Media in Journalism, respectively.
Veteran journalist Sophie Tema (Mosimane) was honoured with the Lifetime Achiever Award for her critical contribution to journalism, especially for her work during the 1976 student protests.

Cerebra MD Craig Rodney with Herman Manson, the first Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year. Pic: Simone Puterman.
When asked this morning, Monday 7 November, what the win means to him, Manson told Bizcommunity: "The role social media plays in how journalists gather information, interact with readers and distribute content will increasingly be coming under the spotlight at mainstream media news rooms and with journalism educators, and I think the award highlights the fact that social media in journalism isn't something the our industry can postpone dealing with any longer.

"We are in a process of establishing best practice in this field, and that is a collaborative effort, and I would encourage my media colleagues to participate in this process."

Kumi Naidoo, guest speaker at the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards gala dinner. Pic: Simone Puterman.
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Sustainable journalism

Guest speaker at the awards evening, which had a sustainable journalism theme, was Kumi Naidoo (@kuminaidoo), Greenpeace International and civil society alliance 'Global Campaign for Climate Action' (GCCA) chair. He congratulated the winners and appealed to the media to help simplify a sometimes complex message around climate change, especially ahead of COP17 taking place in Durban end of this month:

A 'tree' made out of recycled components forms part of the table decor at the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Pic: Simone Puterman.
click to enlarge
"When environmental activists, governments and NGOs talk about climate issues, they often use words and messages that are difficult for people to understand. You, as media, have the power to help unravel that message and frame it in a way that speaks to what must be done to mitigate climate impacts, and I appeal to you to continue to help us do just that and to stress the urgency for immediate action."

This year Avusa, the SABC and Media24 dominated the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards, with these media houses walking away with numerous awards in different categories. The Eastern Cape region also had numerous national category winners.

All the national winners

CategoryJournalistPublicationEntry title
Overall national winnersStephan HofstatterSunday Times, AvusaBheki Cele's R500m police rental deal
Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@Mzeewamafrika)Sunday Times, AvusaBheki Cele's R500m police rental deal
Print featureSam SoleMail & GuardianRadovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates
Stefaans BrümmerMail & GuardianRadovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates
Ilham Rawoot (@ilhamsta)Mail & GuardianRadovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates
Print newsStephan HofstatterSunday Times, AvusaBheki Cele's R500m police rental deal
Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@Mzeewamafrika)Sunday Times, AvusaBheki Cele's R500m police rental deal
TV featureAsanda Magaqa (@asandamagaqa)SABC News, SABCNo woman's land
Liz FishCombined Artists, Carte BlancheFracking in the Karoo
TV newsMpho LakajeeNewsHate crime
Fathima Simjee (@FatzSimjee)Health-e News Service, Morning Live, SABCPositive Heroes
Radio general newsZimasa MbewuSABC Current AffairsTatane
Radio featureUnathi BinqoseSAfm,SABCImfundo
Financial/economic (in association with the JSE Limited)Claire BissekerFinancial Mail, AvusaDo or Die
SportSameer Naik (@SamNaik01)Saturday Star, Independent NewspapersThe Best World Cup Ever
ColumnistPiet NaudeThe Herald, AvusaMeetings are a waste of time
CartoonistJeremy Nell (@mynameisjerm)Jeremy Nell Studio, The New AgeAfrica 2.0
Photography (in association with Mango)Mlondolozi MboloDaily Dispatch , AvusaXhosa Rite Of Passage - Intonjan
Online (in association with Nokia)Brian Hayward (@brianhayward)The Herald, AvusaNelson Mandela Bay's crumbling state healthcare
Eugene CoetzeeThe Herald, AvusaNelson Mandela Bay's crumbling state healthcare
Estelle Ellis (@EstelleEllis)The Herald, Avusa
Khanyi NdabeniThe Herald, Avusa
Community mediaFaatimah Hendricks (@GarlicNaan)The Voice of the CapeThe Battle of Hangberg
Dorianne Arendse (@DorianneArendse)The Voice of the CapeThe Battle of Hangberg
Consumer journalism (in association with Pick n Pay)Herman Scholtz (@hermanscholtz)Rapport, Media24Frozen chicken horror
Social media in journalism (in association with Cerebra)Herman Manson (@marklives)Freelancer (and regular Bizcommunity contributor and columnist)Twitter breaks news, but will it break journalism?
Editor's ChoicePieter Steyn (@piotrstijn)Die Volksblad, Media24
Lifetime achieverSophie Tema (Mosimane)

This year's judges were: Adv Robin Sewlal (convenor), Maud Motanyane (co-convenor), Ruda Landman, Prof Johann de Wet, Mary Papayya, Victor Matom, Dr Melanie Chait, Arthur (ZB) Molefe, Collin Nxumalo, Leonard Maseko, Tim Modise, Arthur Goldstuck and Max du Preez.

Sewlal commented, "Tribute must be paid to the 2011 overall national winners, Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika, for producing sterling work that raises the bar very high for the future of journalism."

Sewlal continued, "In this landmark 10th year of the competition, the national winning entry epitomises the very best in journalism. It is this kind of investigative journalism that keeps our politicians on their toes and kudos must be given to Stephan and Mzilikazi for being so brave in their pursuit of the truth. The more articles and broadcasts of an investigative nature there are, the more society will benefit from such close scrutiny and insights."

'Remarkable bravery and tenacity'

Portia Maurice, Vodacom chief officer of corporate affairs, said: "We are honoured to be able to pay tribute to the media. Hofstatter and Wa Afrika's win clearly demonstrates that the media's role is not only to entertain and inform us, but also to act as ethical gatekeepers in society. The bravery and tenacity displayed by these gentlemen, and in fact all the winners, is remarkable and we are so proud to reward them for this."

Wa Afrika and Hofstatter collectively won a cash prize of R125 000 (shared between the two national winners), another R125 000 for a charity of their choice, Nokia N9 handsets, return flights from Mango, weekends away at any African Pride Hotel, and Huawei S7 Slim tablets.

All the national winners received a cash prize of R15 000 each, a weekend away at any South African Protea Hotel and Nokia C7 handsets. In addition, the winner of the photography category received two return local flights from Mango.

Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow entertaining the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award gala dinner. Pic: Simone Puterman.
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Continuing the theme of sustainable journalism, Budget Car Hire provided each guest with an orange tree to offset their carbon emissions, as well as providing the journalists with a loyalty card plus voucher prizes. Mango Airlines, the official airline for the awards, also offset the carbon emissions of these flights by absorbing the Green Fees. Huawei gave away a Huawei S7 Slim tablet and five Huawei handsets as a mystery prizes at the event. Pick n Pay donated a goody bag of its green products to each winner.

The gala dinner was hosted at Vodacom World in Midrand, Johannesburg.

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